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Contraceptives in High Schools

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CONTRACEPTIVES IN HIGH SCHOOL Are contraceptives and birth control appropriate or inappropriate to offer high school students ? Recently The Department of Education has inaugurated a pilot program called CATCH { Connecting Adolescents To Comprehensive Health} made to curb the alarming rates teen pregnancy here in New York City . Although students throughout the nation has had condoms at their dispense people are now outraged by program which allows the school nurse to administer plan B an emergency contraceptive known as the morning after pill as well as birth control through the form of injection and orally . This can be done without the consent of the parents unless they’ve chosen to opt their children out of the program. People like the executive director Greg Pfundstien, of the Chiaroscuro Foundation, one of the anti- abortion groups feel it’s unethical and doubts that this program will work. Says Jonathan Allen of the Reuters an online news source . Although abortion groups may view the morning after pill as a form of abortion when in essence it is simply a high dosage of the actual birth control pill , which can be taken up to seventy-two hours after intercourse , to halt pregnancy . The morning after pill is a freedom of women’s right’s even though high school students are minor’s they should still have access to contraceptives that are safe to use and are preventive measures against teen pregnancy this will eliminate abortion’s . Plan B will allow teens to have more opportunities afforded to them and their parents due to a decrease in the teen pregnancy epidemic .

Jonathan Allen the leader of an abortion group states that students being offered plan B contraceptive is unprincipled . Allen also feels that this pilot program will not work and will be ineffective . People like Allen argues this program is wrong because quite a few parents say that they never received permission slips either granting their child’s school with their approval to proceed in giving them the pills or opting out . This makes perfect sense because the schools should make sure parents have the optortunity to say yes or no initially and when the teen is in need of the services. It’s clear that in order for a child to get pain killers like Tylenol they’d need permission from their parent. So why is it that with Plan B they’re not made aware of it at all time this is unacceptable . Some parents even made comments about how they’d much rather their child drink a large soda than to be given contraceptive’s in school and without the proper consent . Since mayor Bloomberg has recently passed a law that soda beverages over 16oz’s will be banned for retail sale . This means that there are more things going on with the city than to focus on controlling our sugar intake and that the mayor should be more concerned with the program which allows N.Y.C teens to get Plan B. Giving Plan B to students so freely may not be the best idea simply because they may abuse their resource’s . In this day and age we have to face it pregnancy among teens is extremely relevant and while critics of the pilot program like anti-abortion groups believe that Plan B is a form of abortion . Dr. John Santelli, a specialist in adolescent medicine as well as a professor at Columbia University who studies the use of contraception, argues the program sends a strong message to sexually active teens about the need for contraception. Dr. Santelli also says “Kids that see that level of support for condoms and contraception are more likely to use it,” he said. “It’s a big deal in the sense that it’s going to help the young woman that comes in, or the young man in the case of condoms, and it’s a strong statement to young people that contraception is important.” As far as Plan B getting viewed as an abortifacient goes studies have shown that indeed the morning after pill does not terminate a pregnancy . Studies show that Plan B doesn’t truly have any effect as a form of an abortion. Father Niconar Austriaco, O.P., published an issue in The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly a catholic publication, which states that “recent evidence suggest that levonorgestrel has little or no effect on post-fertilization events”. Meaning that it most likely doesn’t cause an abortion by preventing implantation of an embryo. Aborting a pregnancy is already a traumatic experience for an adult woman, so one can only imagine the extent of emotional damage this would have on a teenager. With high rates of teen pregnancy students having access to LNG will allow them to rule out getting a pregnancy terminated. LGN distributed throughout high school in NYC is great and may also allow other states to follow suite. CATCH is a way to allow young women to exercise their rights as women. Essentially CATCH will set the path for them to make decisions about their bodies as well as other topics at hand. Accessibility to LNG for high school students is much needed as far as N.Y.C goes. Research done by the department of health in fact says that “In any given every year there are about 7,000 pregnancies to girls ages 15 to 17 in New York City alone. With about 90 percent of those pregnancies unplanned/ unintended,” said Deborah Kaplan, assistant commissioner at the city health department’s Bureau of Maternal, Infant and Reproductive Health. If teens are able to have access to LNG and other contraceptive sky would be the limit for them because they wouldn’t have to worry about becoming a teen parent. These teens would also be able to rule out pregnancy terminations and adoptions. If the program did not exist now the number would just continue to rise. Not to mention when a child becomes a parent more than likely the teens parent would have to take care of the new born indefinitely or until the parent would be able to provide and take care of their child.

Moreover giving students the opportunity to have Plan B available to them in school is a very innovative way to help teens and their parents with lower rates of teenaged pregnancy. This pilot program may set an example for other cities and then states, who have big issues with teens who become pregnant, to follow. There may be conflict as to whether C.A.TC.H. should exist and it has may be flawed but it absolutely services its purpose. The problem with parents not knowing when their child would need this drug is a problem for some. Also anti-abortion advocates states that C.A.T.C.H is unethical and is a form of abortion. The percentage of parents who opted out of the pilot program is 1-2 %. This shows how effective parents believe C.A.T.C.H. will be of course teens agree too because they realize that they’re young to have children and with that being said C.A.T.C.H program seems to be a great start to aiding kids in allowing them to afford opportunities they would less likely be able have due to teenaged pregnancy. Though in a perfect world adolescence would not be sexualy active but since they are we must do everything we can to keep these statistics at little to none. `

health department spokeswoman, said in an email.
"We are committed to trying new approaches, like this pilot program in place since January 2011, to improve a situation that can have lifelong consequences," she said.
Parents were informed of the program from the start and given the choice of opting out of any or all of the services but have largely supported the program, Waldhorn said, but it had not been reported on until the New York Post wrote about it during the weekend.
Between 1 percent and 2 percent of parents sent back an opt-out form, she said.
Joan Malin, president of Planned Parenthood of New York City, said that while "in an ideal world a teen would consult with a parent or caregivers before becoming sexually active and seeking out birth control," that was not always the case.
This program "equips school nurses and other qualified staff to be those responsible adults providing appropriate advice and medical care."
Others, however, expressed concern that parents were not making informed decisions about the program.
Greg Pfundstein, the executive director of the Chiaroscuro Foundation, an anti-abortion group inNew York, said the program should be conducted on an opt-in basis so that parents had to actively give their consent.
He also said the health department had not done enough to show that the program would achieve its intended effect of reducing unwanted teenage pregnancies.
New York State Assemblyman Marcos Crespo, a Democrat who represents parts of the South Bronx, called on Mayor Michael Bloomberg to immediately kill the program.
"It is unconscionable for New York City's government to implement any program that gives medication to students without the prior authorization of parents," he said in a letter to the mayor.
The program - known as CATCH for Connecting Adolescents to Comprehensive Healthcare - is an extension of services that already were available to about a quarter of all New York public school students through privately run health clinics.
The 13 public schools were chosen because such facilities were not available nearby.
In the past school year, 567 students received emergency contraception and 580 students received Reclipsen, a birth-control pill, through the program.
Some anti-abortion advocates object to the morning-after drugs, which work by preventing the release of an egg, preventing fertilization or stopping a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus.
The National Association of School Nurses, contacted by the Post, said it did not know of any similar program in the nation. (Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Bill Trott) dispense "Plan B" emergency contraception and other oral or injectable birth control to girls as young as 14 without telling their parents -- unless the parents opt out of the program after receiving a school letter informing them of the new policy.
Fox affiliate WNYW reports that New York City high schools have supplied free condoms to teens in the past, but this is the first time city schools have given hormonal birth control and Plan B, which can prevent pregnancy if taken up to 72 hours after unprotected sex.
Connecting Adolescents to Comprehensive Health, known as CATCH, is part of a citywide plan to prevent teen pregnancy.
According to the New York Post, which first reported the story, 7,000 New York City girls under age 17 got pregnant last year. Sixty-four percent of those pregnancies were aborted, according to the newspaper.
The Plan B distribution could be the first of its kind in the nation. The National Association of School Nurses said it could not locate another school district that supplies Plan B.
Click for more from MyFoxNY.com.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/09/24/13-new-york-city-schools-provide-morning-after-pills-to-teens/#ixzz2AHLGO0Ku…...

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